MUBTAAHIJ, the 2-1 favourite for Saturday’s Gr2 Suburban Handicap over 2000m at Belmont Park, finished third to Effinex in a scratched-reduced field of seven older horses.
Mubtaahij, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. angled in sharply to what appeared to be the deeper footing along the rail while attempting to rally near midstretch. He was beaten 1,35-lenths into third.
Effinex (Mike Smith up) added another chapter to the Jerkens family legacy in race, successfully defending his title in the 130-year-old fixture with a hard-fought neck decision over a game Samraat. It was the sixth time either trainer Jimmy or his father, Allen Jerkens, have won the prestigious event.
Smith, who has now won the Suburban three times, said “I’m so blessed to be able to come back to New York to ride for the Jerkens family. I’ve gotten the opportunity to ride him [Effinex] at the right time, every time. The horse acted right today. I was able to put him in a good spot on the outside. He got to loafing a little bit at the end, and he made me work for my money, anyway.”